The older I am, the more disheartened I am in learning of the number of children from Christian families who grow up and leave the church. Some of these young adults have not necessarily abandoned the faith, but they have, for all practical purposes, abandoned the church. I wonder if some part of the reason for this is that we have failed to adequately explain what the church is and its necessity in the life of every believer. In other words, we sometimes forget to intentionally talk about these things with our children. Here are some really helpful words from Tedd and Margy Tripp:
God designed the means of safely delivering our children gradually from the primary community of the family to the broader family that supports the worldview of the family. That is the church. Family life and church life are intended to run parallel over our child’s developmental years. This will encourage their movement from our family community to the church community, where God the Father, Christ the brother, and earthly sisters and brothers in Christ become their personal experience.
Think of the elements of family life… and reflect on life in the body of Christ. In a culture where everything regarding the church and God is suspect, we must understand and practice biblical church life that gives meaning, purpose, dignity and divine intention to human life. God has designed the church community to safely extend all the ministries of the family for the nurture and development of our children and us. We should discuss these thoughts with our children. The church is an essential element of the culture we provide for our children.
(From Instructing a Child’s Heart, copyright©2008, pages 136-137)
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